It was lunch time when I finally summoned the courage to show myself in public. I was well informed as to how a small incident could become the flavor of the day in various circles around the village. All it would take was one person telling the story and one collaborating it.
As male, what happened in the morning was not too embarrassing. It was rather customary for men to go out topless because of the heat. Of course, partly downless was perhaps unusual but it could happen even to the most careful like myself.
“Hi, there sexy!” called out another kumppare in jest. He lived a kilometer away from my place. “Someone told me that your bird nearly flew out from its nest.”
When I got teased, I normally laughed it off. But this was literally below the belt.
“That’s absurd! It did not happen that way!”I wanted to retell the whole story though I guessed it would be immaterial because he had already conceived in his mind what he believed happened.
“You don’t have to be ashamed, man. I had a similar experience before.”
“It was an accident. Ask Joe. He’ll tell exactly what transpired.”
“Come on! Don’t be so touchy. You know how we rural folks think. Tomorrow you will be old news.”
“How did you pick up the juicy bit of information?”
“Let me think!” he looked up to the heavens as if recalling the sequence of events. “A group of women bought fish from a vendor. She rode a tricycle to the coast. With her were three other passengers plus the driver. He is my neighbor.”
“Except for ‘the bird nearly flying out the nest’ invention, what other particulars you heard?”
“You don’t want to know,” he tried not to laugh. “Leave it at that, man.”
“You’re my friend, right?”
He shook his head several times as if weighing his options.
“By the way, do you really wear polka-dotted underwear?”